Philadelphia's COVID-19 vaccine rollout going 'smoothly,' health commissioner says

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Dozens of healthcare workers at Philadelphia's Temple University Hospital received the Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday.

In Philadelphia, a total of 18,366 people have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of December 29.

"The shot for me is because my mom, my grandmother and so many other family members have underlying conditions," said Temple Respiratory Therapist Shanti Welch. "They're older so I'll make the sacrifice and get the vaccine so I can call them and say, 'Hey its safe so take it.'"

In a press conference Tuesday, Dr. Thomas Farley said they'll continue vaccinated healthcare workers and will soon expand the vaccine rollout to congregate health facilities and nursing homes.

"This week we were allocated from the federal government roughly 8,800 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 9,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine," said Farley. "We expect roughly the same amount allocated each week for the next two weeks."

Physician Dr. Delana Wardlaw also received the vaccine Tuesday. She said she hopes her vaccination serves as an example to the Black community that the vaccine is indeed safe.

"I am a firm believer that vaccination is a tried and true process. It goes through safety and efficacy procedures and it is an effective manner to slow down the spread of detrimental deadly viruses," said Dr. Wardlaw.

Wardlaw explained that hesitancy among members of the community due to racism that exists within medical, implicit bias and previous historical events.

"The side effects from the vaccine are far less significant than complications with coronavirus so it's for each individual person to decide which risk they are willing to accept," said Wardlaw.
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